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If you’re ever in New York… Things to try and see that don’t include the Statue of Liberty

brooklyn bridge new york

Brooklyn Bridge, Photo by Colton Duke

‘The city that never sleeps’ – is what they say about one of the biggest cities in the USA, New York. Known for its diversity, this city is just one of those places that offers a gazillion options for people who live there and people who visit it for the first time. People say that you can spend a lifetime in this city and be able to do something different every day. You can probably imagine what a challenge it would be to even start planning your trip to this adventurous city. That’s why we gathered a list of things to do and places to see while you are in the Big Apple for those of you who want to experience more than just the sight of the Statue of Liberty. So, it doesn’t matter if you are a local ready to explore, or a first-time-visitor, there is something for everyone to feel this city’s pulse and capture your heart.

brooklyn bridge new york
Brooklyn Bridge, Photo by Colton Duke

When should I visit New York?

The answer is simple: New York is simply amazing in every season, depending on what you are looking for. Of course, there are certain things available to be seen and attended in particular seasons. However, in general, you can’t go wrong by visiting New York in any season of the year.

Summer

Something exciting is happening no matter where you turn in New York throughout all summer. If you are a fan of picturesque sunrises, visit Honorable Willie Wall – a bar on a platform with unbeatable views and tasty cocktails. You can go and enjoy free outdoor concerts and Shakespeare in the Park, or try Eataly’s most famous gelato. This season is perfect if you want to see a good baseball game, or US Open tennis matches. Don’t miss the chance to see a variety of different animals in the Bronx Zoo or enjoy an adventurous ride on the Cyclone roller coaster! Just enjoy the hot weather and don’t forget your sunscreen!

Honorable William Wall, New York
Honorable William Wall, New York

Autumn

Or fall, as they say, is one of New York’s nicest and coziest seasons according to many people. Pack your favourite cardigans and sweaters and enjoy the sight of pumpkin and caramel-coloured trees and the sound of crunching leaves under your shoes. Enjoy a warm cup of latte and take a walk in New York’s numerous city parks. This is the season to witness the New York City marathon. You can also be a part of the Village Halloween Parade and the Thanksgiving Day Parade.   

NYC Village Halloween Parade
NYC Village Halloween Parade, Photo by Anne Ruthmann

Winter

Nobody can stay indifferent to the sight of a true winter’s fairytale – Central park under a fresh coat of snow during the winter months. Besides, skating in the open-air ice-skating areas is simply a must! ‘Tis the season to be jolly, so you will enjoy the festive spirit and the holiday festivities of New York wherever you turn. For those of you who prefer staying during the cold winter temperatures, visiting New York in winter is the perfect opportunity to check out museums like MoMA, Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History. If you are a fan of Christmas shows, book a ticket for the Rockettes’ famous dance show even before your trip to the Big Apple. If you find yourself in Brooklyn during the Christmas holidays, go to Dyker Heights, a beautiful neighbourhood with wonderful, magical Christmas decorations.  

Guggenheim Museum New York
Guggenheim Museum, Photo by Thomas Hawk

Tip: If you decide to visit the Met, don’t go on the main entrance where all the tourists go. Instead, use the handicap entrance on the left of the main staircase to avoid the mile long line.

Spring

Many New Yorkers ‘celebrate’ the coming of spring, as it brings warmer temperatures.One can immediately feel the optimism and positive vibes on the streets and pavements. The trees start blooming and people get rid of their winter coats. Spring is the perfect time to enjoy and admire the cherry blossoms in New York’s botanic gardens in the Bronx and Brooklyn or take a stroll in any just any park. And do as true New Yorkers do – take some time to enjoy brunch at an outdoor table.

Chihuly artwork - New York Botanical Gardens Bronx
Chihuly artwork in Bronx Botanical Gardens, Photo by @mike

Where to go no matter the season?

1. Central Park

It’s on the top of our list, since this park literally represents an oasis for New Yorkers all year round. There is an array of things to do in Central Park all year round. This will make you feel like you are miles away from the chaos of the concrete jungle. Have a picnic, rent a boat and roam around the Lake, take a walk down the Mall to reach the wonderful of terrace of Bethesda, or just stop and take and enjoy the smell and sight of blooming roses or cherry blossoms. This is one of the world’s most renowned green spaces. It contains more than 700 acres of man-made gardens, meadows, beautifully sculpted fountains and monuments, and even an outdoor theater. This is America’s most visited park, and don’t be surprised if you recognize certain spots from film. Central Park is one of the most filmed locations in the world.

2. Grand Central Terminal

Or more commonly known as Grand Central Station is a must for first-time visitors. It won’t take a lot of your time, and it’s completely free to enter it, just for the sight of the glorious mint vaulted ceiling which depicts the constellations – a fantastic view!

Grand Central Station New York
Grand Central Station, Photo by Pixabay

3. Brooklyn Bridge

This is one of New York’s most famous symbols, but still, it’s a must. This landmark is a wonderful example of the city’s urban design. Besides, it offers a magnificent view of the Brooklyn waterfront, Manhattan, and the East River. Here are two pieces of advice if you decide to visit the bridge: stay in the pedestrian lane because cyclists move very quickly, and don’t forget to bring your camera to take some amazing photos!

4. Chrysler and Empire State Building

Iconic landmarks of New York, which you don’t really have to spare time to go to. This is because you can easily spot their magnificence on your tour through Manhattan. If you want to enjoy the magical view of New York lights at night, an elevator can take you to the Empire State Building’s top floors for a reasonable price.

5. Broadway

One of the world’s most famous theatres, – Broadway, should be a ‘must’ in your ‘to do list’ In New York.. It’s open all year round, so no matter the season, you can enjoy its performances. Just make sure to check its repertoire and purchase ticket prices in advance. They, just like any other theatre, perform different musicals in different seasons. However, if you aren’t planning to go and see a specific show, you should go and check and purchase a ticket on TKTS online the day before. Plus, buy one from the ticket stand in South Street Seaport, as you can get a great discount.

6. One World Trade Center

This is one of New York’s highest observation decks, and a fairly new building, finished in 2013. If you want to see the full glow of New York’s sunsets or enjoy the sight of the city at night, you can invest some money from your travelling budget to purchase a ticket. One World was rebuilt as a response to the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2003. About 3000 people lost their lives then. It is a symbol of New York’s devotion to progress and future. However, if you have already visited the Empire State Building and seen the view from its top floors, skip this observatory, as it’s not one of the cheapest things to see in New York.

7. Smorgasburg Williamsburg

Don’t miss the chance to visit this artisanal food market. It attracts a great number of tourists throughout the weekends. If you are wondering why, the answer is pretty simple. It has got over a hundred vendors, and it allows its locals to discover new chefs and restaurants. Admission is free, but you are still expected to pay what you purchase from stall to stall.

Brooklyn Williamsburg Smorgasburg

Practical items to take on your next trip to the Big Apple!

Packing for an adventurous destination such as New York can sometimes be overwhelming. Whether you spend more than a week, or just a couple of days, planning your trip is very important. Bringing the right things with you can either make your trip enjoyable, or turn it into a real nightmare. So, let’s see which items should be considered ‘a must’ when travelling to New York:

  • Guidebook, if you are in New York for the first time. It will be a passport to the most relevant places, and advise you on what to visit or skip.
  • Offline map, or if you are an old-fashioned pal go for a paper map. This is especially important if you want to get around New York easily without getting lost.
  • Comfortable shoes, since you might be sightseeing New York on foot all day long.
  • Easy access-wallet (believe it or not, New York, at least most of the touristy places, is a pretty safe place. However, New Yorkers really appreciate-being prepared ahead of time, especially when waiting in a line)
TRAVANDO ® Slim Wallet with Money Clip with RFID Blocking
TRAVANDO ® Slim Wallet View on Amazon

Say yes to New York!

With its size and diversity, New York attracts millions of tourists throughout the whole year. There are so many things to try and places to see that this city has to offer. So, we hope we helped you cut down the impossibly long ‘to do’ list and suggested an array of places to explore and enjoy when visiting New York. So whether you are in New York for the first time, or a local who still hasn’t had the chance to fully explore the Big Apple, these ‘stops’ will give you a true insight of the city’s busy life and beating heart.

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